“She’s always going on about how we’re not supposed to let people’s expectations limit our choices.” — Alex Gino (George)
This post may contain spoilers.
This middle-grade book by Alex Gino is a progressive novel, aimed at promoting transgender acceptance, especially in youth.
“George” is all about a young girl who is trapped in a boy’s body. She wants everyone to believe that she is a girl and hates the boy body that she has been born in. Her role model is Charlotte from the classic “Charlotte’s Web” for how kind and accepting she is, and it breaks George’s heart when Charlotte dies, prompting George’s desire to show the world that she is a girl by playing Charlotte during the school play.
This book is a quick read — I had finished it collectively in just a few hours, especially when one considers that it’s middle-grade fiction. I had picked it off the shelf for the important message the book wanted to share, and it did not disappoint. It brought us into the innocent world of a young child who did not feel comfortable in her body. George knew that she was a girl deep inside and, understandably, was nervous about how those closest to her would take the news.
The book is filled with characters who all have different, realistic reactions to George coming out as a girl. Some of the adults were put-off by it, even in denial, yet George’s best friend took the news in stride and became one of the most supportive roles in the book. Even George’s older brother mulled on the news and accepted it better than their mother had. These roles showed how the younger generation are more accepting of transgender and other diversity, while it may take the older generation a bit longer to get used to the idea.
“George” has a powerful message and is a great story for those who are looking to dive a little deeper into a wonderful type of character who needs more representation on our bookshelves.
“George” gets a 4 out of 5 stars.